We are foreigners, pilgrims, temporary residents, exiles, sojourners, aliens, strangers on earth—
Let’s deep this.
The transformation that God has made in our lives as Christians is so extreme, so intense, that it completely changes our home address–making us no longer residents of this world, but foreigners in it.
Our citizenship is in Heaven (Philippians 3:20), that is our final destination.
Peter tells us in 1 Peter 2:11-12 “Dear friends, I warn you as ‘temporary residents and foreigners’ to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when He judges the world.”
Peter challenges us to live with the understanding that we are no longer bound to this earth, its customs, cultures, and way of thinking. In fact, the fastest way to becoming an enemy of God is to become friends with this fallen world (James 4:4). Peter challenges us to change our perspective: As children of the Most High, we have a Heavenly birthright. We are not orphans, but heirs of a Kingdom. We have a Father Who is the King of Kings. We are transient non citizens who are part of God’s family. Strangers. We are foreigners. So yes, we may live in this world, but we are not of it and as far as this planet goes, we should consider ourselves to be foreigners, just passing through.
But not aimlessly passing through.
While we acknowledge that we are not of this world, we must also acknowledge that we are sent by Christ into this world (John 17:15-18). We have His Great Commission to obey (Matthew 28:18-20). We are to be the salt and the light of the earth (Matthew 5:13), letting our witness as children of God draw others who may not believe towards Christ. And that’s where verse 12 of 1 Peter 2 comes in, “Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when He judges the world.” Although we are strangers to this world, we still live among the people of the world. We are not isolated. We see them, and they see us. Peter further explains that even if we are accused of doing wrong, they will still see our honorable behavior or our good works. But we shouldn’t be surprised by this statement. Jesus was accused of doing wrong. He was hated. But He remained good. Remember John 15:18-25, Jesus says, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that they hated Me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world…”
Our powerful defense is this: live lives that are honorable. It may not always be easy, but when we do it with help from the Holy Spirit, people will see us. Our witness will testify. And prayerfully, our good will attract them to the Father. That’s the dopest part of it all.
So, in summary. We are temporary residents, foreigners in this fallen world. Heaven is our final destination and as we are ‘passing through’, we are letting our word, action and our lives lead unbelievers to Christ. Remember, we have a Heavenly Father that adores us, the Great I am that I am.
We know our Heavenly birthright.
We know our true home and where we belong.
Our Heavenly inheritance is worth more than any earthly inheritance.
The exact moment that we realize and truly understand all of this, our lives here on earth will change.
We will walk differently, talk differently, our lives will reflect the glory of The One whom we belong to and others will know and see that our God is, and always will be, good.